Last week we partnered with the American Diabetes Association to turn a Kroc Center gymnasium into a classroom for 32 kids. They didn’t have to take tests or complete written assignments. In fact, much of the day was more like recess than math class. However, they learned some valuable lessons about how to improve their health.
These kids participated in Camp Day2Day, a free, weeklong camp for children diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, along with those considered at-risk for the disease. They played sports, swam and even took a field trip to the supermarket. More importantly, they learned how to change their eating habits and lifestyles to improve their health. The Commercial Appeal featured the camp on the cover of its June 7 issue.
Camps like these can be lifesavers for the growing number of American kids who are obese and are developing some of the complications that come with it, like diabetes. Nearly 13 percent of children in the United States are obese, the highest percentage in the world. Largely because of this, the number of children with type 2 diabetes is rising, as well.
We have a responsibility to care for those who are sick, but we also have a responsibility to keep people from becoming sick. I commend our system community outreach team and the many of you throughout our organization who teach kids how to become and stay healthy. Thank you for helping to ensure that they become our future leaders, not our future diabetes patients.